What Is A Blimp?

Blimps differ in appearance from airplanes considerably.
Blimps differ in appearance from airplanes considerably.

What is a Blimp?

A blimp, also called an airship or a dirigible, is a type of aircraft that lacks an inbuilt structural framework and stays in the sky by floating. Its structure is maintained using the pressure of gasses inside. Blimps are commonly used for advertising purposes, although they do have a brief history of use as passenger vehicles and military weapons. A blimp has several parts which are crucial for its flight.

Difference Between Blimps and Zeppelins

Blimps and zeppelins are often confused for one another. However, they are not the same thing, as a blimp is a "pressure airship" that lacks internal structure and a zeppelin is a "rigid airship" that has a large metal frame. The term "zeppelin" actually refers to a brand of rigid airship and is not all-encompassing. Although blimps and zeppelins both operate by being lighter than air, it is this structure (or lack thereof) that differentiates the two.

Common Uses of Blimps and Zeppelins

In the early 20th century, blimps, as well as all forms of airships, were used to carry passengers. However, after the Hindenburg Disaster of 1937 (which, although it is oftentimes confused for a blimp, was a zeppelin), the industry saw a decline in commercial application and the usage of blimps was limited to purposes of military surveillance. However, in the recent past, the blimp has seen a comeback in leisure travel where they carry tourists over exotic locations. Another use of the blimp over the years has been in advertising with brands such as tire manufacturing company, Goodyear, who use the blimps as giant floating billboards. Feasibility studies are being conducted to gauge the viability of using blimps as wireless networking platforms.


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